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The University of Michigan (U-M, UM, UMich, or U of M), frequently referred to simply as Michigan, is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the Michigan Territory became a state, the University of Michigan is the state's oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet (780 acres; 3.2 km2) spread out over a Central Campus and North Campus, two satellite campuses in Flint and Dearborn, and a Center in Detroit. The University was a founding member of the Association of American Universities.
Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States, the university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as professional degrees in architecture, business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work, public health, and dentistry. Michigan's body of living alumni (as of 2012) comprises more than 500,000. Besides academic life, Michigan's athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference.
History of UMich
The University of Michigan was established in Detroit on August 26, 1817 as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, by the governor and judges of Michigan Territory. Judge Augustus B. Woodward specifically invited The Rev. John Monteith and Father Gabriel Richard, a Catholic priest, to establish the institution. Monteith became its first President and held seven of the professorships, and Richard was Vice President and held the other six professorships. Concurrently, Ann Arbor had set aside 40 acres (16 ha) in the hopes of being selected as the state capital. But when Lansing was chosen as the state capital, the city offered the land for a university. What would become the university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 thanks to Governor Stevens T. Mason. The original 40 acres (160,000 m2) was the basis of the present Central Campus. The first classes in Ann Arbor were held in 1841, with six freshmen and a sophomore, taught by two professors. Eleven students graduated in the first commencement in 1845.
By 1866, enrollment increased to 1,205 students, many of whom were Civil War veterans. Women were first admitted in 1870.James Burrill Angell, who served as the university's president from 1871 to 1909, aggressively expanded U-M's curriculum to include professional studies in dentistry, architecture, engineering, government, and medicine. U-M also became the first American university to use the seminar method of study.Among the early students in the School of Medicine was Jose Celso Barbosa, who in 1880 graduated as valedictorian and the first Puerto Rican to get a university degree in the United States. He returned to Puerto Rico to practice medicine and also served in high-ranking posts in the government.
From 1900 to 1920, the university constructed many new facilities, including buildings for the dental and pharmacy programs, chemistry, natural sciences, Hill Auditorium, large hospital and library complexes, and two residence halls. In 1920 the university reorganized the College of Engineering and formed an advisory committee of 100 industrialists to guide academic research initiatives. The university became a favored choice for bright Jewish students from New York in the 1920s and 1930s, when the Ivy League schools had quotas restricting the number of Jews to be admitted. Because of its high standards, U-M gained the nickname "Harvard of the West." During World War II, U-M's research supported military efforts, such as U.S. Navy projects in proximity fuzes, PT boats, and radar jamming.
After the war, enrollment expanded rapidly and by 1950, it reached 21,000, of which more than one third (or 7,700) were veterans supported by the G.I. Bill. As the Cold War and the Space Race took hold, U-M received numerous government grants for strategic research and helped to develop peacetime uses for nuclear energy. Much of that work, as well as research into alternative energy sources, is pursued via the Memorial Phoenix Project.
In the 1960 Presidential campaign, U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy jokingly referred to himself as "a graduate of the Michigan of the East, Harvard University" in his speech proposing the formation of the Peace Corps speaking to a crowd from the front steps of the Michigan Union.
Lyndon B. Johnson gave his speech outlining his Great Society program as the lead speaker during U-M's 1964 spring commencement ceremony. During the 1960s, the university campus was the site of numerous protests against the Vietnam War and university administration. On March 24, 1965, a group of U-M faculty members and 3,000 students held the nation's first ever faculty-led "teach-in" to protest against American policy in Southeast Asia. In response to a series of sit-ins in 1966 by Voice, the campus political party of Students for a Democratic Society, U-M's administration banned sit-ins. In response, 1,500 students participated in a one-hour sit-in inside the Administration Building, now known as the LSA Building. In April 1968 following on the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a group of several dozen black students occupied the Administration Building to demand that the University make public its 3-year-old commitment as a federal contractor to Affirmative Action and to increase its efforts with respect to recruiting more African American students, faculty and staff. At that time there were no African American coaches, for instance, in the Intercollegiate Athletics Department. The occupation was ended by agreement after 7 hours.
Former U-M student and noted architect Alden B. Dow designed the current Fleming Administration Building, which was completed in 1968. The building's plans were drawn in the early 1960s, before student activism prompted a concern for safety. But the Fleming Building's fortress-like narrow windows, all located above the first floor, and lack of exterior detail at ground level, led to a campus rumor that it was designed to be riot-proof. Dow denied those rumors, claiming the small windows were designed to be energy efficient.
During the 1970s, severe budget constraints slowed the university's physical development; but in the 1980s, the university received increased grants for research in the social and physical sciences. The university's involvement in the anti-missile Strategic Defense Initiative and investments in South Africa caused controversy on campus. During the 1980s and 1990s, the university devoted substantial resources to renovating its massive hospital complex and improving the academic facilities on the North Campus. In its 2011 annual financial report, the university announced that it had dedicated $497 million per year in each of the prior 10 years to renovate buildings and infrastructure around the campus. The university also emphasized the development of computer and information technology throughout the campus.
In the early 2000s, U-M faced declining state funding due to state budget shortfalls. At the same time, the university attempted to maintain its high academic standing while keeping tuition costs affordable. There were disputes between U-M's administration and labor unions, notably with the Lecturers' Employees Organization (LEO) and the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO), the union representing graduate student employees. These conflicts led to a series of one-day walkouts by the unions and their supporters. The university is engaged in a $2.5 billion construction campaign.
In 2003, two lawsuits involving U-M's affirmative action admissions policy reached the U.S. Supreme Court (Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger). President George W. Bush publicly opposed the policy before the court issued a ruling. The court found that race may be considered as a factor in university admissions in all public universities and private universities that accept federal funding. But, it ruled that a point system was unconstitutional. In the first case, the court upheld the Law School admissions policy, while in the second it ruled against the university's undergraduate admissions policy.
The debate continued because in November 2006, Michigan voters passed Proposal 2, banning most affirmative action in university admissions. Under that law, race, gender, and national origin can no longer be considered in admissions. U-M and other organizations were granted a stay from implementation of the law soon after that referendum. This allowed time for proponents of affirmative action to decide legal and constitutional options in response to the initiative results. In April 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action that Proposal 2 did not violate the U.S. Constitution. The admissions office states that it will attempt to achieve a diverse student body by looking at other factors, such as whether the student attended a disadvantaged school, and the level of education of the student's parents.
On May 1, 2014, University of Michigan was named one of 55 higher education institutions under investigation by the Office of Civil Rights "for possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints." President Barack Obama's White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault was organized for such investigations.
The University of Michigan became more selective in the early 2010s. The acceptance rate declined from 50.6% in 2010 to 26.2% in 2015. The rate of new freshman enrollment has been fairly stable since 2010.
Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
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Student life @UMich
The University of Michigan's campus housing system can accommodate up to 10,900 people, or nearly 30 percent of the total student population at the university. The residence halls are located in three distinct geographic areas on campus: Central Campus, Hill Area (between Central Campus and the University of Michigan Medical Center) and North Campus. Family housing is located on North Campus and mainly serves graduate students. The largest residence hall has a capacity of 1,240 students, while the smallest accommodates 25 residents. A majority of upper-division and graduate students live in off-campus apartments, houses, and cooperatives, with the largest concentrations in the Central and South Campus areas.
The residential system has a number of "living-learning communities" where academic activities and residential life are combined. These communities focus on areas such as research through the Michigan Research Community, medical sciences, community service and the German language. The Michigan Research Community and the Women in Science and Engineering Residence Program are housed in Mosher-Jordan Hall. The Residential College (RC), a living-learning community that is a division of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, also has its principal instructional space in East Quad. The Michigan Community Scholars Program, dedicated to civic engagement, community service learning and intercultural understanding and dialogue, is located in West Quad. The Lloyd Hall Scholars Program (LHSP) is located in Alice Lloyd Hall. The Health Sciences Scholars Program (HSSP) is located in Couzens Hall. The North Quad complex houses two additional living-learning communities: the Global Scholars Program and the Max Kade German Program. It is "technology-rich," and houses communication-related programs, including the School of Information, the Department of Communication Studies, and the Department of Screen Arts and Cultures. North Quad is also home to services such as the Language Resource Center and the Sweetland Center for Writing.
The residential system also has a number of "theme communities" where students have the opportunity to be surrounded by students in a residential hall who share similar interests. These communities focus on global leadership, the college transition experience, and internationalism. The Adelia Cheever Program is housed in the Helen Newberry House. The First Year Experience is housed in the Baits II Houses, Northwood Houses, and Markley Hall. The Sophomore Experience is housed in Stockwell Hall and the Transfer Year Experience is housed in Northwood III. The newly organized International Impact program is housed in North Quad.
Groups and activities
The University lists 1,438 student organizations. With a history of student activism, some of the most visible groups include those dedicated to causes such as civil rights and labor rights. One group is Students for a Democratic Society, which recently reformed with a new chapter on campus as of February 2007. Another student labor campaign organization recently established on campus is the United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS). This group seeks to hold accountable multinational companies that exploit their workers in factories around the world where college apparel is produced. Though the student body generally leans toward left-wing politics, there are also conservative groups, such as Young Americans for Freedom, and non-partisan groups, such as the Roosevelt Institution.
There are also several engineering projects teams, including the University of Michigan Solar Car Team, which has placed first in the North American Solar Challenge six times and third in the World Solar Challenge four times. Michigan Interactive Investments, the TAMID Israel Investment Group, and the Michigan Economics Society are also affiliated with the university.
The university also showcases many community service organizations and charitable projects, including Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children, Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan,The Detroit Partnership, Relay For Life, U-M Stars for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, InnoWorks at the University of Michigan, SERVE, Letters to Success, PROVIDES, Circle K, Habitat for Humanity, and Ann Arbor Reaching Out. Intramural sports are popular, and there are recreation facilities for each of the three campuses.
Fraternities and sororities play a role in the university's social life; approximately 18 percent of undergraduates are involved in Greek life. Membership numbers for the 2009-2010 school year reached the highest in the last two decades. Four different Greek councils—the Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Panhellenic Association—represent most Greek organizations. Each council has a different recruitment process.
The Michigan Union and Michigan League are student activity centers located on Central Campus; Pierpont Commons is on North Campus. The Michigan Union houses a majority of student groups, including the student government. The William Monroe Trotter House, located east of Central Campus, is a multicultural student center operated by the university's Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs. The University Activities Center (UAC) is a student-run programming organization and is composed of 14 committees. Each group involves students in the planning and execution of a variety of events both on and off campus.
The Michigan Marching Band, composed of more than 350 students from almost all of U-M's schools, is the university's marching band. Over 100 years old, the band performs at every home football game and travels to at least one away game a year. The student-run and led University of Michigan Pops Orchestra is another musical ensemble that attracts students from all academic backgrounds. It performs regularly in the Michigan Theater. The University of Michigan Men's Glee Club, founded in 1859 and the second oldest such group in the country, is a men's chorus with over 100 members. Its eight-member subset a cappella group, the University of Michigan Friars, which was founded in 1955, is the oldest currently running a cappella group on campus.
The University of Michigan also encourages many cultural and ethnic student organizations on campus. There are currently over 317 organizations under this category. There are organizations for almost every culture from the Arab Student Association to African Students Association to even the Egyptian Student Association. These organizations hope to promote various aspects of their culture along with raising political and social awareness around campus by hosting an assortment of events throughout the school year. These clubs also help students make this large University into a smaller community to help find people with similar interests and backgrounds.
Media and publications
The student newspaper is The Michigan Daily, founded in 1890 and editorially and financially independent of the university. The Daily is published five days a week during academic year, and weekly from May to August. Other student publications at the university include the conservative The Michigan Review and the progressive Michigan Independent. The humor publications Gargoyle and The Michigan Every Three Weekly are also published by Michigan students.
WCBN-FM (88.3 FM) is the student-run college radio station which plays in freeform format. WOLV-TV is the student-run television station that is primarily shown on the university's cable television system.
Several academic journals are published at the university:
- The Law School publishes the well-regarded Michigan Law Review and six other law journals: The Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law, University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Michigan Journal of Race & Law, Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review, Michigan Journal of International Law, and Michigan Journal of Gender and Law.
- The Ross School of Business publishes the Michigan Journal of Business.
- Several undergraduate journals are also published at the university, including the Michigan Journal of Political Science, Michigan Journal of History, University of Michigan Undergraduate Research Journal, the Michigan Journal of International Affairs, and the Michigan Journal of Asian Studies.
The University of Michigan's sports teams are called the Wolverines. They participate in the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) and in the Big Ten Conference in all sports except women's water polo, which is a member of the Collegiate Water Polo Association. U-M boasts 27 varsity sports, including 13 men's teams and 14 women's teams. In 10 of the past 14 years concluding in 2009, U-M has finished in the top five of the NACDA Director's Cup, a ranking compiled by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics to tabulate the success of universities in competitive sports. U-M has finished in the top 10 of the Directors' Cup standings in 14 of the award's 16 seasons and has placed in the top six in nine of the last 10 seasons.
The Michigan football program ranks first in NCAA history in total wins (925 through the end of the 2015 season) and second in winning percentage (.730). The team won the first Rose Bowl game in 1902. U-M had 40 consecutive winning seasons from 1968 to 2007, including consecutive bowl game appearances from 1975 to 2007. The Wolverines have won a record 42 Big Ten championships. The program has eleven national championships, most recently in 1997, and has produced three Heisman Trophy winners: Tom Harmon, Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson.
Michigan Stadium is the largest college football stadium in the nation and one of the largest football-only stadiums in the world, with an official capacity of 107,601 (the extra seat is said to be "reserved" for Fritz Crisler) though attendance—frequently over 111,000 spectators—regularly exceeds the official capacity. The NCAA's record-breaking attendance has become commonplace at Michigan Stadium, especially since the arrival of head coach Bo Schembechler. U-M has fierce rivalries with many teams, including Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State; ESPN has referred to the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry as the greatest rivalry in American sports. U-M also has all-time winning records against Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State.
The men's ice hockey team, which plays at Yost Ice Arena, has won nine national championships, while the men's basketball team, which plays at the Crisler Center, has appeared in five Final Fours and won the national championship in 1989. The men's basketball program became involved in a scandal involving payments from a booster during the 1990s. This led to the program being placed on probation for a four-year period. The program also voluntarily vacated victories from its 1992–1993 and 1995–1999 seasons in which the payments took place, as well as its 1992 and 1993 Final Four appearances.
The men's wrestling, men's gymnastics, and women's volleyball teams compete at the Cliff Keen Arena, dedicated and named after longtime wrestling coach Cliff Keen in 1990.
Through the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, 178 U-M students and coaches had participated in the Olympics, winning medals in every Summer Olympics except 1896, and winning gold medals in all but four Olympiads. U-M students have won a total of 151 Olympic medals: 72 gold, 39 silver, and 40 bronze.
The University of Michigan's fight song, "The Victors," was written by student Louis Elbel in 1898 following the last-minute football victory over the University of Chicago that won a league championship. The song was declared by John Philip Sousa as "the greatest college fight song ever written." The song refers to the university as being "the Champions of the West." At the time, U-M was part of the Western Conference, which would later become the Big Ten Conference. Michigan was considered to be on the Western Frontier when it was founded in the old Northwest Territory. Although mainly used at sporting events, the fight song can be heard at other events. President Gerald Fordhad it played by the United States Marine Band as his entrance anthem during his term as president from 1974 to 1977, in preference over the more traditional "Hail to the Chief", and the Michigan Marching Band performed a slow-tempo variation on the fight song at his funeral. The fight song is also sung during graduation commencement ceremonies. The university's alma mater song is "The Yellow and Blue." A common rally cry is "Let's Go Blue!," which had a complementary short musical arrangement written by former students Joseph Carl, a sousaphonist, and Albert Ahronheim, a drum major.
Before "The Victors" was officially the University's fight song, the song "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight" was considered to be the school song. After Michigan temporarily withdrew from the Western Conference in 1907, a new Michigan fight song "Varsity" was written in 1911 because the line "champions of the West" was no longer appropriate.
Services of UMich
- Academic Support - There are many places to get academic help at U-M
- Career Center - Connecting students to the workplace
- Counseling and Psychological Services - On-campus psychological counseling
- Dean of Students - Supporting your Michigan experience
- International Center - Resources for international students and global education
- MiTalk - An online resource for mental health information
- Office of Student Conflict Resolution – Build trust, promote justice, teach peace
- Office of the Ombuds - A place for systemic complaints and concerns about the university
- Services for Students with Disabilities - Helping students with disabilities succeed
- Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Center – Prevention & survivor support services
- Spectrum Center - Creating an inclusive community for LGBTQ students & allies
- Student Legal Services - Legal support for students
- University Health Service – U-M's comprehensive student health care clinic
- William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center - Facilitating a social justice environment
- Campus Information Centers - Your guide to the U
- Center for Campus Involvement - Student programs, events, and engagement
- Central Student Government - Michigan's central student government
- Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service Learning - Community and civic engagement
- Expect Respect - Promotes the dignity of every individual
- Greek Life - Fraternities and sororities at Michigan
- Growing Allies - Supporting U-M’s ally community
- Michigan Union Ticket Office - Tickets for campus and city events
- Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs - Supporting a diverse campus
- Program on Intergroup Relations - Social justice education within and beyond the classroom
- Student Organization Account Services - Accounting services for student organizations
Get Housing & Food
- Housing - Living at Michigan residence halls
- Beyond the Diag – Off Campus housing
- Michigan Dining – Eat, celebrate, work, relax
- University Unions - Eat, study, relax, meet, live
- Recreational Sports - Play, stay fit, and be healthy
- Challenge Program - Activity-based teambuilding and leadership development
- Club Sports - Student led, student run teams
- Outdoor Adventures - Outdoor educational and recreational opportunities for all students
- Happening@Michigan - What's happening on campus
- University Activities Center - What the Victors do in their spare time
- Wolverine Wellness - Nurturing a healthy campus environment and promoting wellness